Welcome to Our House - The Analogy ©

Having a baby is special. For some, it’s a lifelong dream, for others, a wonderful surprise. Either way, many of us have thought about taking this journey and whether it’s planned or a pleasant surprise, we all have preconceived ideas about what our child will look and be like. But what if it isn’t what we planned or expected? This is a short story I have written for parents who have or are expecting an exceptionally special child.

Welcome to our House – An analogy

After many months of dreaming, you finally decide it’s time. You are going to build that perfect house of your dreams. You have saved and saved, and now it’s time to put your plan into action. You find a wonderful, perfect piece of land in the city. It’s exactly what you are looking for – because it’s the plan that everyone talks about. You envision the all brick house sitting on luscious green grass, surrounded by a white picket fence. Inside is a marble foyer leading into a family room with beautiful oak hardwood floors. Granite lines the kitchen counter tops and there is an island sink in the middle. Upstairs has four perfect bedrooms and the master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and an enormous walk-in closet, of course. It’s truly a dream come true, and it’s only a matter of time. You purchase the land and think to yourself, in nine short months, you will have it all.

But suddenly your agent calls to tell you, the land is not properly zoned, and the city has not approved it for building your perfect home. They have instead, given you land in the country, where an old country home sits. You are absolutely devastated, your dreams vanishing right before your eyes. You know you can’t back out now, you need a place to live, and despite it not being what you wanted, you know that somehow you will manage and that you can continue on.

You tell everyone what has happened, and everyone is disappointed, some even offering their condolences. You know that everyone else has a nice city home, and that was what you had planned, but you have to come to terms with the fact that you must learn to live in the country.

You go to see the property every month until closing and something funny happens. You start to fall in love with the place. The air is fresh, it’s peaceful and serene. There’s a pond on the land, and the house, though not a new all brick home, is quaint, and has lots of hidden potential. You soon realize it’s not a awful place, it’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than the city, less noisy and flamboyant, but it’s beautiful none the less. And in the process, you soon realize you may even get to meet some new and wonderful neighbours.

Its closing day and you suddenly find yourself full of anticipation, but you are still a little worried. After all, it isn’t what you had originally hoped for, and the house may need some repairs. But you are determined to accept it, and tackle everything one step at a time. You open the front door, and suddenly you are thrilled with what you see. The house is lovely, and has lots of character. The rooms are smaller but it’s decorated with beautiful attention and detail. The kitchen has marble instead of granite, and the bathroom has a soaker tub instead of a Jacuzzi. There isn’t a walk-in closet in sight, but the rooms all come with an indescribable view. Somehow, you just know that it was always meant to be and that this is now home.

This is my analogy of what it will be like for people who discover that they will be caring for a baby with Down syndrome. For us, it is not a terrible place to be, it is a journey full of surprises, milestones and discovery like any other child. And as the story suggests, sometimes it’s only a matter of ‘point of view’, and surprisingly, once you have been there, you don’t want to be anywhere else. The journey, like all others doesn’t come without some bumps in the road, but once you find your way, it’s all about the place you discovered, in most cases - quite by random chance
Author: Sandi Graham-McWade, Copyright
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Journal - Week 71 (01Jan11)

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Even though I am not posting a whole lot for this specific post (I will do a seperate post on my reflections on the year) I wanted to share some photos that were taken for New Years of Hunter.

I had made the mistake of waking Hunter early in the morning of New Years eve, because I had a doctors appointment that morning and needed my mother to watch him for that time.  In hind sight, I should have left him to sleep longer so that he wouldn't have been so crabby come midnight.  He fell asleep at around 9:30pm which I was completely fine with but I realized that he would likely be woken up with our little family get together (of our usual cousin collective who we spend most of our holidays with) cheering in the New Year.  At 11:30pm Hunter woke up on his own, but certainly wasn't too happy about it.  I would later learn why he was in such a bad mood, miserable and crabby which is just not in his character - no matter what time of day he wakes up.  But this time around he was unusually very tearful and sad.  So getting a great New Years photo was quite the challenge, as you will see by what I post below.  (It turned out that he was in the beginnings of a terrible chest cold and was probably feeling so horrible and unknowingly to us since he was not yet showing obvious cold symptoms.)

Even though we had a crazy and short ring in of the New Year (my silly PVR satalite recorder switched the station we were watching exactly 1 minute before the 10 second countdown, due to an unscheduled show that was to record at 12:00 am on the 1st Jan) and though we missed the usual perfect chime in of the New Year, we managed to cheer it in none the less.  After the crazy photo session we all returned to what we were doing moments before (which was playing our family card games) without skipping a beat.  Thanks to a joint effort we managed to get one "mostly" nice family photo for the New Year!

Just testing out the camera only 7 minutes before New Years
Just for fun, a photo of the "Count Down Clock" on TV
I may be looking happy here, but I just woke up 20 minutes ago...
My Mommy always wants kisses... but since I love her I will comply.
Hugging is fun too.  Mommy loves to hug me.
My Uncle Oli likes to give me money!  I was reluctant but Mommy said I could take it.
Exactly 1 minute after midnight & I am not a happy camper.  What's so special about New Years?
Honestly, no one gets why I am so upset!  I don't care about New Years... I don't feel well!
Mommy is trying to explain that I should smile, but I really don't feel well....
Okay, just one photo.  I will give it my best, but I still don't feel well.  A 1/2 smile will have to do.
I think my mommy is making fun of me.  She's pouting now too but I don't think it's funny.
Yep, taking those photos were like pulling teeth.  But I have to say, we had no idea that Hunter was feeling so yucky until the next few days after when the mucousy coughing started.  Then it all made perfect sense.  Poor Hunter.  But he did put on a brave somewhat smiley face for us, for at least one or two photos.  What a way to ring in the new year.  His first cold of the year, and technically his first bad cough cold ever.

And just for fun (since I am posting photos...) I had forgotten to post a picture of something that we caught Hunter doing a few days ago....  Literally moments before I took the photo, I had just noticed that Hunter took off his pants all by himself.  (The funny thing was all day long, the pants were constantly falling down past his butt because the waist was too big).  So I guess Hunter got tired of his pants giving him the plumber bum look and with that, he took them off!  The funny thing was, when I noticed that he had taken them off, I asked him to show Mommy what he had done with his pants, and like the compliant boy (and smarty pants) that he is, he did just that, he showed me!
If these silly pants can't stay up, off they come!  Is this what you wanted to see Mommy??!

I also decided that since I haven't posted any of my newest ultrasound photos, I would post a picture of my all too fast growing belly.  I can't quite believe how quickly my belly is popping out and showing!  While I realize that after a first pregnancy, your body knows just what to do... I had no idea it would be this fast!  I hope I don't get much larger... but I don't think that wish is going to be granted!  Time is flying by as my first trimester is long done.  I have my scheduled Amniocentesis on Thursday the 6th of January (I have always been the type of person who likes to know before hand exactly what is in store for us) so just like with Hunter, we had no idea what to expect since all our prenatal tests so far have been "normal".  Given the maternal odds of 1:100 due to a prior Ds pregnancy we decided that having another Amniocentesis made perfect sense.  Without a previous Ds pregnancy my risk for Ds would have been 1:225.  But either way, I know that odds and risks don't mean much of anything because Non-Disjunction Ds (Trisomy 21) ~95% of the time is random.

At only 15 weeks pregnant... !
I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's eve and day.  There is a lot in store for us this year and while our lives became full of fun and joy in 2009, this year will be "double the trouble" and fun!  Keep safe for the rest of the holiday week and enjoy.  

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